Wednesday, September 09, 2009

New Rail Line in Maine?

CBC news is reporting that the city of Eastport, Maine is applying for federal funding to rebuild a railway line from Eastport to the Canadian border at Calais.

The Maine Central Railway abandoned the Eastport branch line in 1978. I understand the state railbanked a portion of the old Calais branch, but the portion from Ayers Junction to Eastport was totally removed.

There is an engineering study posted on the Eastport Port Authority web site. Zipping to the bottom line, we find the costs estimated to be between $26 million and $44 million, depending on what level of track is deemed to be required.

All I can say is "good luck".

4 comments:

Peter said...

While I can see some merits to the port connecting to the rail system, there is an issue of the weights. From what I see, the loads would suggest a heavier rail weight than 100# especially to a port.

Once we are on the Canadian side, what about the connection up to the NBSR main line. Doesn't it need some work as well?

Train Geek said...

The study talks about relaying existing track to 286K standards. I think the high end of the cost estimates includes support for 286,000 lb cars.

NBSR just received up to $18 million to upgrade their own track to 286K standards, including the St. Stephen branch line that Eastport would use.

Brian B. said...

The Eastport Branch would have been saved during the early 70's, as a major oil refinery was projected for the area.

The project was denied for primarily Environmental concerns by the Canadian Gov't, as is the current LNG Terminal proposal by U.S. interests for the area.

A spill of petroleum products into the Passamaquoddy Waters, would be disastrous for the fishing industry.

With the port of St. John and plans to enhance container traffic into Searsport, Me., I would think that Eastport as a container terminal is a bit of a " stretch ", although it has a natural deep harbour. As you said Steve, " good luck ".

Speaking of Containers, yesterday's NBSR Eastbound had 16 single CSX containers. This is the largest block I've seen thus far. I understand CSX is hoping to expand this service to St. John.

Jody R said...

I saw the containers when they went through McAdam. Can you explain to me where they are coming from and what they may have planned?